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Texans combat lake-eating monster fern

In East Texas, Residents Take On a Lake-Eating Monster - New York Times
Caddo Lake, a mystical preserve of centuries-old mossy cypress breaks, teeming fisheries and waterfowl habitats, is under siege by a fast-spreading, Velcro-like aquatic fern, Salvinia molesta, also known as Giant Salvinia. In what East Texans here liken to a horror movie, the furry green invader from South America, which is infiltrating lakes in the American South and abroad to growing alarm, is threatening to smother the labyrinthine waterway, the largest natural lake in the South, covering about 35,000 acres and straddling Texas and Louisiana. “It’s probably the most dire threat that the lake has ever faced, and we certainly have had more than our share of threats,” said Don Henley, the drummer, singer and songwriter of the Eagles, who grew up in nearby Linden, keeps a double-wide trailer on Caddo Lake and has put his celebrity and fortune behind efforts to preserve it. The United States Geological Survey calls Salvinia molesta one of the world’s most noxious aquatic weeds, with an ability to double in size every two to four days and cover 40 square miles within three months, suffocating all life beneath. The plant is officially banned in the United States, but it is carried from lake to lake by oblivious boaters, to the point where some private lake communities now limit access to boats already there.

Massive flooding hits the entire goddamned world

Reminder #1: This is what global warming does: it redistributes...

July 29, 2007

What we can learn from China's attempt to regulate relationships

National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC) -- Article This is fascinating:
Until the early 1990s, most couples in the region faced arranged marriages in which the woman was expected to move to the home or village of her husband. This in itself was not unusual in rural China. What distinguished the eastern part of Hui’an County from other areas of the Chinese countryside was that wives did not actually live with their husbands immediately after marriage. Instead, a few days following their wedding they returned to live with their birth families. Summoned periodically to “visit” their husbands (spend the night and perhaps have sex), women remained in their own homes until they bore their first child and only then did they begin residing with their husbands. For some, this process took only a few years; other couples, however, lived apart for a decade or more. When I began conducting research in a fishing village in eastern Hui’an in the early 1990s, these marriage practices were still quite common. My first memories of the oldest daughter in my host family centered on her efforts to refuse her mother-in-law’s visitation requests in order to avoid sleeping with her husband and possibly becoming pregnant. It was only six years into her marriage that she finally had a child and even then she was often reluctant to spend the night at her husband’s house. Nor was she out of the ordinary among women her age. When asked why they had avoided their husbands during their early married years, many village women mentioned their fear of being with a strange man and their preference for the relative freedom of life with their own families where they could work, sleep, and eat on their own schedule. In order to delay the end to such freedoms, they did what they could to avoid sex and pregnancy, even spending the entire night of a conjugal visit standing up or sitting in a chair. Refusing their mother-in-law’s visitation requests altogether was another common tactic. If this marital reluctance was an accepted strategy on the part of young wives, why had it posed such a problem for China’s socialist regime? In the years following the socialist revolution in 1949, the government initiated a series of nationwide reform campaigns targeting what they called feudal customs, especially those involving marriage and the family. Reformers sought to end arranged marriages, ban child betrothals, and create a more equitable distribution of power in the family. In eastern Hui’an, these reforms also included efforts to encourage and, at times, force wives to reside with their husbands immediately upon marriage. One obvious reason for these reforms was to give men sexual access to their wives and therefore discourage undesirable (from the government’s perspective) practices such as prostitution. But official motivations were more complex than simply satisfying the sexual needs of male citizens. Instead, they show us how certain kinds of intimacy were seen as critical to a larger state project of cultivating liberated socialist citizens.